Thursday, December 8, 2016

My Eyes Have Seen You

"It is our duty as men and women to proceed as though the limits of our abilities do not exist."
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Political Vision
Have you noticed the term "vision" gets thrown around a lot in corporate life? Personally, I love it. It can rally teams of people together; clarify where an organizaiton aspires to be; and differentiate a company from the competition in a big way.

As long as others do not attempt to sabotage your efforts...

...and that is where "vision" usually runs into trouble.

We are actually made to believe we have limits. Who made that decision? Was it someone threatened by our energy, risk taking, and success? Someone who clings to power by manipulating others to "know their place" and to understand "how things are done around here?"

I'm calling BS on that.

Wish List Vision
Instead of talking about the vision you have for yourself, your team, and your organization, do this instead:
- write everything down
- pull your Personal Board of Directors together and talk with them
- put your thoughts, ideas, and plans into action

Your vision does not have to be a fleeting wish list of a life you long for, but have accepted will never become a reality before you even put forth any effort. It can happen in your professional life, and your personal life too.

See your future. Make it happen. Today.

How About You
Keep your eyes focused on your vision of what you can become. Do not allow the risk-averse cowards in your organization to bully you into staying as lame as they are so much more.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Getting Started Using Social Media in Your Career

Even though the echo chamber is louder than ever in the social media space, there continue to be many...many...professionals who have yet to adopt these tools into their professional lives.

Honestly, getting started, particularly for my #HealthcareHR colleagues can feel like they are literally putting their jobs at risk. However, it does not have to be that way at all!

Start Slow
A key step in the process...from my to take your time. There is no hurry, you're not behind anyone else, and you certainly should never rush adopting new ways of doing your work.

However, it is time to get started. That means, today!

Step by Step
This is the easiest part of your transition to becoming a contemporary leader. You've probably already done part of this already. Do you have a Linkedin profile? Good! 

Next, open a twitter account. Keep in haven't posted anything yet, so you are not taking any risks!

Last step...start to identify content that you might like to share.

Pro Tip!
- your company probably produces content regularly....start there! 

Other ideas include professional journals (within your industry, Harvard Business Review, Inc., etc..) Start sharing this content once a day. It's safe, will make you look like you're aware that it is almost 2017, and you will begin to differentiate yourself and your company from the competition.

How About You
That wasn't so scary after all, right? Other helpful strategies as you get started should include following people in your industry and replicate what they do. Slow and steady actually does win the race.

Have questions? I'd love to help...reach out anytime.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Your Delivery, Though

You're smart, successful, and have a whole bunch of authority. You've arrived. It's your time, and you are going to make sure you prove to everyone that you deserve to be in your job.

...and right now...this one of the riskiest of your career...

Slow Down
One of the pitfalls new leaders face is their own enthusiasm. They are so fired up to make an impact (good thing) that they don't invest the time to learn the culture, skills of the team, and organizational norms before they roar down their own path (very bad thing.)

The challenge can quickly move past simple enthusiasm and impatience to losing credibility if not addressed in a timely manner. So, while the new leader's style can transition from a positive to a negative, it is also incumbent on the other members of the leadership team to support the new leader with the appropriate coaching right from the start.

Listening Is Not Optional
If only life was as easy as I described above. An over zealous leader, some timely coaching, and all is right with the world.

However, sometimes very talented and driven professionals need extra support. This does not mean they are a bad fit for your organization; or that they can not recover from a few well-intended stumbles.

It does require direct and sustained feedback (think --> bordering on confrontational) to ensure the message gets through.

Again, most leaders want to do a great job. They want to add value. 

But some struggle to understand that the leadership style that may have served them well in the past no longer applies in their new organization.

Instead of considering their approach as a failure, the real opportunity is to leverage their skills to pivot, embrace the new culture, and channel their expertise and energy in full alignment with their new team.

How About You
Who do you know that is fired up, but could use a helping hand to complete their transition to their new role? It is easy to criticize, but the real professional inside each of us needs to provide the help our cultures would indicate should come automatically, right?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Leader's Interview Guide (because you're horrible at it)

I hate to break this to you, but candidates no longer need you. They don’t need to feel lucky to land a job at your organizaiton. You’re not doing them any favors, and they certainly don’t need to grovel all over your office being thankful.

You need them.
They have all the power.

…and you could not be more ill-prepared to compete for them than you are right now.

Vacancies are the Worst
Consider the pressure you face every day:
- overtime
- staff morale
- turnover
- budget performance
- vacancies
- employee behavior
- regulatory constraints

The candidates do not need you…you need them.

Three Focus Areas
You can prepare yourself to interview effectively in many ways; however the three areas below should be considered mandatory if you are hoping to compete in the market today.

a) Your Digital Presentation
- they will search you online…100% of the time
- Linkedin (if your profile is lame, assume they think you are too)
- google yourself to learn how invisible you really are

Have you invested a few minutes to ensure you appear to be paying attention to our digital world? If not, you already look old and stale (regardless of how many candles will be on your cake the next time your birthday rolls around.)

b) Your Real Life presentation
- energy
- passion
- direct, well prepared questions
- humor
- listen to them

Have you invested the time to focus, removed the onslaught of noise from your mind, and committed to focusing exclusively on the person you’ll be interviewing? If not, you will come across just like every other hiring leader in the universe...distracted and arrogant.

c) Your Attitude
- don’t judge in the first five minutes
- be clear about your expectations
- be direct

Have you allowed yourself to have an open mind, and to consider that someone who doesn’t instantly fit into your clone-like vision of your team might actually add a diverse and fresh perspective? If not, it’s time to end the interview before it starts and head to your next recurring management meeting and vent about your circumstances.

How About You
Are you ready for 'your" next interview? Your candidates will be. In fact, they have done more research about you, than you have about them. 

What will they find? Anything at all?


How will you present yourself? How will you follow up after? Do you send thank you notes to candidates for coming in; or, should they leave feeling thankful for the opportunity to be in your presence?

I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Bleeding Orange

Why do some people stay with their organizations for years, and others seem to bounce from place to place? Do some companies have a secret that magically plays out inside their walls? Or, do they simply market their culture so effectively that despite their normal challenges they continue to attract top talent?

I've worked in organizations that were good places, and I've worked in organizations that I left because they were obsessed with earnings and didn't care about patient, physician or employee engagement.

I felt like I was bleeding all over the place...yet my passion and enthusiasm for my work didn't mean a thing. It was a sad place to be, and ultimately it required a resignation and fresh start.

In those companies...bleeding was bad.

I now find myself at a point in my career where I am again bleeding all over the place. My energy, passion and commitment are very different this time though. So, what has changed?

Are the people better? 
- No, but something feels different when we work together.

Is the work dramatically different? 
- No, but something feels different when we do our work.

Is the culture really that different from other companies?


We aren't obsessed with organizational charts. We don't wonder who is talking to who about who after every meeting. We search for ways to recognize each other. 

We ask each other to offer suggestions. We take risks and try new things. We bake our employment assessment tool into every day life. Yes we do. Every. Day. Life.

Are we perfect? Thankfully, no.

We think differently. We act differently. We "get it" here...when most other companies just don't.

How About You
This is a week to be thankful for many things. I've never felt this much support in my life. I've never felt this much energy with a team as I do now. It's flat out awesome.

What color do you bleed?

We bleed orange.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Your "Vision" Is Blinding You

One of the leadership traits I find most impressive is the ability to adapt and change. In politics you are vilified if you ever change your mind. It’s as if you’ve committed blasphemy!

In the real world however, a leader’s ability to see beyond the blinders of their passion, plans, and vision to see what they didn’t see previously is something special...

…and rare.

Keep Pushing
A quick example to illustrate my point. I’ve worked with many talented leaders over the years, and one of the most difficult barriers they’ve had to face is their own beliefs. One executive in particular was a huge boost of energy to the Nursing team. Her energy, commitment, and drive were exactly what the hospital needed.

Unfortunately, when it was time for her to adjust her approach based on a variety of political pressures (not the bad kind) she was unable to change. Her “vision” for what should be done blocked her ability to see what “needed” to be done.

Push and Pivot
The opposite, of course, is when humility, self-awareness, and classic big-picture thinking manifest themselves in real time. Another of my original HR mentors, who was my boss at the time, was involved in a rollout of a new organizational policy.

The first round of meetings did not go well; but instead of shaking his head and lamenting that “employees just don’t understand that hard decisions have to be made” - he immediately called his team into his office to discuss the unintended (and missed) consequences of the policy.

We changed it.
On the spot.

How About You
Do you talk about your vision for your team, department, or organization? If so, that is fabulous, so many leaders can’t even articulate one! Just make sure that your strength does not become your weakness too.

I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Going Social Transformed My #HealthcareHR Career

I didn't get into social media tools because I thought they were cool. Quite honestly, it was out of desperation. My hospital at the time had far too many vacant positions, and the traditional #HealthcareHR tactics simply failed.

Just as they still do today.

Bold Leaders Are the Only Leaders
I literally had to make a bold move or risk compromising the quality of care provided to the patients at my hospital. That was the way I looked at it. I may not have been a direct care giver, but HR plays a vital role in the patient care process. If someone tries to tell you something different, fire them.

That's right. For those HR leaders that still believe they can use approaches from ten years ago and actually make a dent in the challenges they face, they are kidding themselves...

...and are losing the respect of their "team" (if they still actually have a team.)

The Truth Hurts
Am I being critical today? Actually, no. I'm begging you to lift your head up from the comfort of your policy manual and the noise from your over-priced ad agency and make a change.

Change yourself. Change your HR culture. Change your organization for the better.

How About You
You have the radically transform your company. Yes, you. Start by allowing yourself the freedom to explore and learn new tools. Release yourself of the burden of anything traditional, and embrace growth, performance and success.

You can do it.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.